Over 120,000 Japanese-American, two thirds of whom are U.S. citizens, are uprooted from their west coast homes and incarcerated by their own government. It is 1942, wartime hysteria is at a peak. They are imprisoned in ten inland concentration camps where they remain behind barbed wire, under suspicion and armed guards for up to 3½ years. Topaz is one of the ten camps.
Without hearings or trials, this act of injustice is based solely on the color of their skin and the country of their origin. America's fear and distrust of these citizens—precipitated by Japan's attack upon Pearl Harbor—is placated.
Lost within this rush to judgement is the denial of constitutional rights, major losses of personal property and the labelling of its own citizens as enemy. Ironically, though this mass incarceration is spearheaded by thoughts of disloyalty, not a single act of espionage against the U.S. is ever discovered.
Indeed, the 442nd RTC and 100th Battalion, composed entirely of Japanese-American boys (many of whom volunteer from internment camps), suffer major war casualties and go on to become the U.S. Army's most highly-decorated combat unit in its history.
Topaz is closed in October of 1945.The memory of Topaz remains a tribute to a people whose faith and loyalty was steadfast—while America's had faltered.